Interview with the American Booksellers Association

NetGalley is a proud supporter of independent bookstores, and we’re honored to have the American Booksellers Association (ABA) as our official Bookseller Sponsor of the 2016 NetGalley Challenge.

ABA logoToday we’re highlighting the important work of the ABA, which was founded in 1900 as a national not-for-profit trade organization that works to help independently owned bookstores grow and succeed. As a special treat Oren Teicher, ABA CEO, sat down with us to chat about the ABA and how our members can get involved.


The ABA has so many great programs to help bookstores stay competitive and to reinforce the value of shopping indie. One in particular is the American Booksellers for Free Expression – can you give our members a brief description, and how they can get involved?

American Booksellers for Free Expression, a project of the American abfe logoBooksellers Association, is the bookseller’s voice in the fight against censorship. It defends the First Amendment rights of booksellers and their customers in local communities, state legislatures, Congress, and the courts. We invite everyone to sign up for our free newsletter, Free Speech Report. We also encourage them to support Banned Books Week, the only national celebration of the freedom to read. Thousands of bookstores and libraries participate every year during the fourth week of September. This year’s celebration is Sept. 25-Oct. 1.

I’m sure most of our members have heard of IndieBound (or have spotted it in their local indie), the local first-focused marketing program developed by the ABA. Can you describe the different components of IndieBound and how it benefits bookstores and patrons?

IndieBound is a collaborative program among the independent bookstore members of the American Booksellers Association that focuses on the unique attributes of indie stores and the power of “local first” shopping. Independent bookstores have a special place in their communities, a third place — not home, not work — where readers and book buyers can discover their next great read, share great experiences with authors, and establish deeper connections with other passionate readers and their own community. In the monthly Indie Next List and the weekly Indie Bestseller lists, readers can find insightful, curated lists of great titles and newly discovered authors, and authors show their dedication to indies nationwide by linking to their favorite bookstore or to thousands of indie bookstores through IndieBound.org. And consumers can know, too, that by shopping indie their dollars are staying in their communities, which means more money for sound schools, strong first responders, green parks and ball fields — all the things that make for happy and healthy communities.
indiebound logo
Through our partnership, booksellers who sign up for NetGalley can nominate titles to be considered for the Indie Next List—and we see a lot of activity generated from our members! Can you tell us the history of the Indie Next List and how it has evolved?

Indie Next logoAs readers know, one of the most interesting sections of an indie bookstore is the Staff Picks section, and the Indie Next List is, in effect, a monthly national staff picks of upcoming fiction and nonfiction. Each month, hundreds of independent booksellers nationwide send ABA nominations for the titles that they are most looking forward to hand-selling to their customers. These passionate recommendations drive the selection of 20 fiction and nonfiction titles that make up the Indie Next List, with the title getting the most nominations becoming that month’s number-one selection. Customers in bookstores coast to coast pick up the Indie Next List flier and peruse the titles online at IndieBound.org, as well as see the books in stores’ in-store displays. The list is a diverse mix of subject matter, taste, and genre — and is a showcase for both favorite authors and new voices. There is no shortage of great writing right now, and the Indie Next List helps readers discover the best of the best.

Another exciting connection point between NetGalley and the ABA was the creation of the Digital White Box program, to help introduce indie booksellers to more new books from a wide variety of publishers and genres. How can ABA member stores ensure they’re taking advantage of this free member benefit?

Yes, ABA offers digital galleys (for print books) via the Digital White Box with NetGalley. Booksellers on NetGalley can simply click here to tell us you’d like to receive this monthly email, and they should include the email addresses of everyone in your store. (Access to each book is linked by email address, so it’s important to sign up all staff members individually.) ABA member stores can also just make sure your ABA member number is added to their NetGalley Profile, and they will receive the Digital White Box automatically.

digital white box logoThe Digital White Box provides a curated, exclusive selection of books for indie bookstores, and the titles are immediately available to your colleagues in the store. Booksellers tell us that the email often helps them identify unexpected successes, in a wide variety of genres, from a diverse set of publishers.

As an important support system in the bookselling community, the ABA helps organize and host a number of events and promotions throughout the year for booksellers and patrons alike. We’re excited by the newest ABA initiative, the New Localism – can you give us some insight into how this program was developed and what results you’ve seen so far?

For many years now, we have seen the growth of localism — from farmers’ markets to the increasing awareness of the importance of locally owned Main Street business for vibrant and diverse communities with real job creation. The localism movement has become a major influence in the decisions of consumers regarding where they will make their purchases and spend their dollars. Nationally, literally millions of consumers are deciding to shop in a locally owned business because it is locally owned. But as an increasingly large percentage of consumer purchases are made online, ABA has led the way in examining what the dollars-and-cents effects are on our local communities. A study commissioned by ABA found that what’s good for Amazon is not good for the overwhelming number of communities in the U.S. The study revealed that Amazon’s total nationwide sales tax gap in 2014 is an estimated $625 million, and the displacement of retail from local communities to the Internet exacts a large (and growing) cost of approximately $420 million in property taxes annually. This results in a total of more than $1 billion in revenue lost to state and local governments in just one year, a huge shortfall in the monies needed to support schools, libraries, first responders, and other key services. For the year 2014 alone Amazon sales produced a net national loss of 135,973 retail jobs, with only eight states showing a net gain in jobs. And those numbers take into account all the jobs currently in Amazon distribution centers. In the end, where we spend does shape where we live.

new localism
Did you know…

When you shop at a locally owned independent business, your entire community benefits:
The Economy

  • Spend $100 at a local and $52 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.
  • Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.
  • More of your taxes are reinvested in your community–where they belong.

The Environment

  • Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to beautify your community.

The Community

  • Local retailers are your friends and neighbors—support them and they’ll support you.
  • Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.
  • More independents mean more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.

Now is the time to stand up and join your fellow individuals in the IndieBound mission supporting local businesses and celebrating independents.

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Indie Next List

September edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the September Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles:

Commonwealth: A Novel, by Ann Patchett (Harper • 9780062491794)

The Risen: A Novel, by Ron Rash (Ecco • 9780062436313)

The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood, by Belle Boggs (Graywolf Press • 9781555977498)

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries From a Secret World, by Peter Wohlleben (Greystone Books • 9781771642484)

A House Without Windows: A Novel, by Nadia Hashimi (William Morrow • 9780062449689)

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Indie Next List

July edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the July Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles:

A Certain Age: A Novel, by Beatriz Williams (William Morrow • 9780062404954)

Look: Poems, by Solmaz Sharif (Graywolf Press • 9781555977443)

Disappearance at Devil’s Rock: A Novel, by Paul Tremblay (William Morrow • 9780062363268)

So Much for That Winter: Novellas, by Dorthe Nors (Graywolf Press • 9781555977429)

Brighton: A Novel, by Michael Harvey (Ecco • 9780062442970)

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North, by Blair Braverman (Ecco • 9780062311566)

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Indie Next List

June edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the June Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

Homegoing: A Novel, by Yaa Gyasi
(Knopf, 9781101947135, $26.95)

The Fireman: A Novel, by Joe Hill
(William Morrow, 9780062200631, $28.99)

Grief Is the Thing With Feathers: A Novel, by Max Porter
(Graywolf Press, 9781555977412, trade paperback, $14)

The Insides: A Novel, by Jeremy P. Bushnell
(Melville House, 9781612195469, trade paperback, $16.95)

The View From the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction, by Neil Gaiman
(William Morrow, 9780062262264, $26.99)

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Indie Next List

May edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the May Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles, not currently available on NetGalley: 

The Mirror Thief: A Novel, by Martin Seay
(Melville House, 9781612195147, $27.95)

LaRose: A Novel, by Louise Erdrich
(Harper, 9780062277022, $27.99)

Julia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long, by Julia Reed
(Rizzoli, 9780847848287, $50)

Over the Plain Houses: A Novel, by Julia Franks
(Hub City Press, 9780938235214, $26)

Father’s Day: A Novel, by Simon Van Booy
(Harper, 9780062408945, $24.99)

Heat & Light: A Novel, by Jennifer Haigh
(Ecco, 9780061763298, $26.99)
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Indie Next List

April edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the April Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles, not currently available on NetGalley: 

The Nest: A Novel, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
(Ecco, 9780062414212, $26.99)

The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial, by Maggie Nelson
(Graywolf Press, 9781555977368, trade paperback, $16.99)

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Indie Next List

March edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the March Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

The Opposite of Everyone: A Novel, by Joshilyn Jackson
(William Morrow, 9780062105684)

Margaret the First: A Novel, by Danielle Dutton
(Catapult, 9781936787357)

Blackass: A Novel, by A. Igoni Barrett
(Graywolf Press, 9781555977337)

Under the Influence: A Novel, by Joyce Maynard
(William Morrow, 9780062257642)

A Man Lies Dreaming: A Novel, by Lavie Tidhar
(Melville House, 9781612195049)

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Get the books of Winter Institute

(even if you won’t be in Denver!)

We love helping our community discover new books of interest. As part of our efforts to help booksellers in particular, we coordinated this feature with the American Booksellers Association, which just appeared in their weekly newsletter, Bookselling This Week. Seeing as these are some truly exciting books, we want to share them with our entire community.

Via NetGalley, booksellers are now able to preview e-galleys of a standout list of books that will be available in the Galley Room at ABA’s Winter Institute 11. For those who won’t be in Denver from January 23–26 (or for those who just want to get started reading right away!), here we highlight 10 titles to request (or wish for) on NetGalley right now. Plus, the beloved Buzz Books are back!

2016 Adult Buzz Book2016 YA Buzz Book

NetGalley is pleased to again be partnering with Publishers Lunch on the seventh Buzz Books edition, which evokes all the excitement of Winter Institute with significant samples of some of the spring/summer publishing season’s biggest titles and potential breakouts and new discoveries. BUZZ BOOKS 2016: Spring/Summer presents readings from 40 adult books, and BUZZ BOOKS 2016: Young Adult Spring/Summer gathers excerpts from 20 forthcoming YA titles. At the end of most excerpts, you will find a link to the full galley on NetGalley!

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

 

This season shows no shortage of breakout books from familiar names in literary fiction. From Chris Cleave, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Little Bee, comes Everyone Brave is Forgiven (Simon & Schuster)—a spellbinding novel about three unforgettable individuals thrown together by war, love, and their search for belonging in the ever-changing landscape of WWII London. Look for it also in Publishers Lunch’s Buzz Books 2016: Spring/Summer.

 

Eligible

 

 

 

From Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife, comes a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice in Eligible (Random House). Equal parts homage to Jane Austen and bold literary experiment, Eligible is a brilliant, playful, and delicious saga for the twenty-first century.

 

As Good As Gone

 

 

The American West is bestselling author Larry Watson’s forte, and in As Good as Gone (Algonquin Books), his tenth novel, he has created his most vivid, genuine antihero yet in Calvin Sidey, a man stuck in a myth. With the crisp, restrained prose for which Larry Watson is revered, As Good as Gone is a story of a man increasingly at odds with the world.

 

Here Comes the Sun

 

 

 

From bestselling authors we move to highly anticipated debuts, such as Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn (W. W. Norton & Company), in which a cast of unforgettable women battle for independence while a maelstrom of change threatens their Jamaican village. From a much-heralded new writer, Here Comes the Sun offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise.

 

Bricks That Built

 

 

Kate Tempest, a major talent in the poetry and music worlds, sits poised to become a major novelist with The Bricks that Built the Houses (Bloomsbury). Driven by empathy and ethics, it’s a blazing and beautiful novel, wise but never cynical, generous and vigorous. Love animates this debut novel, rich with characters and restless in perspective, sprawling across London.

 

Maestra

 

 

L.S. Hilton’s Maestra (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) is already stirring buzz from Hollywood to London and back again as one of the year’s big new thriller discoveries. With the cunning of Gone Girl‘s Amy Dunne, and as dangerous as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘s Lisbeth Salander, the femme fatale of this Talented Mr. Ripley–esque psychological thriller is sexy, smart, and very, very bad in all the best ways. You’ll also meet her in Buzz Books 2016: Spring/Summer, along with the author of the next title on our list…

 

All Tomorrows Parties

 

 

In All Tomorrow’s Parties (Grove Press) Rob Spillman (editor of Tin House magazine) traces his past to craft a deeply affecting coming-of-age portrait of an artist’s life that serves as an exhilarating cultural tour of the last quarter century through the lens of two transforming cities, drawing on musical inspiration from the Sex Pistols to Sonic Youth and the words of literary heroes such as Paul Bowles and Ken Kesey.

 

Flawed

 

 
Must-reads in the young adult realm include Flawed (Feiwel & Friends), a breathtaking YA debut from award-winning and bestselling author Cecelia Ahern. The Scarlet Letter meets Divergent in this thoughtful and thrilling novel that depicts a society in which obedience is paramount and rebellion is punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

 

Every Exquisite Thing

 

 

 

Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick brings us Every Exquisite Thing (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), a heartfelt YA novel that serves as a celebration of the self and the formidable power of story. Find an excerpt in Buzz Books 2016: Spring/Summer.

 

Tell Wind Fire

 

 

 

Finally, Tell the Wind and Fire (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group) by New York Times bestseller Sarah Rees Brennan is already a much wished-for book on NetGalley. This magic-infused tale of romance and revolution is lush, dramatic, and poignantly timely.

 

 

 

 

Booksellers, don’t forget to nominate your favorites for the Indie Next List by using the Feedback button in NetGalley, and continue getting the earliest access to new galleys all year long by opting into the Digital White Box too.

Librarians, you can also get in on the fun an nominate your favorites for the LibraryReads list!

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Indie Next List

February edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the February Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

Be Frank With Me: A Novel, by Julia Claiborne Johnson
(William Morrow – 9780062413710)

Sweetgirl: A Novel, by Travis Mulhauser
(Ecco – 9780062400826)

The Ramblers: A Novel, by Aiden Donnelley Rowley
(William Morrow – 9780062413314)

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Indie Next List

January 2016 edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the January Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles, not currently available on NetGalley:

Rosalie Lightning: A Graphic Memoir, by Tom Hart
(St. Martin’s Press, 9781250049940)

The Visitors: A Novel, by Simon Sylvester
(Melville House, 9781612194639)

The Past: A Novel, by Tessa Hadley
(Harper, 9780062270412)

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir, by Ruth Wariner
(Flatiron Books, 9781250077691)

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